|Born||Robert Alan Pritzker
June 30, 1926
|Died||October 27, 2011(aged 85)|
|Alma mater||Illinois Institute of Technology|
|Spouse(s)||Audrey Gilbert (divorced)
Irene Dryburgh (divorced)
--Jennifer N. Pritzker (b. James)
--Karen Pritzker Vlock
--Liesel Pritzker Simmons
|Parent(s)||Abram Nicholas Pritzker
Robert Alan Pritzker (June 30, 1926 – October 27, 2011) was a member of the wealthy Pritzker family.
Pritzker was born to a Jewish family in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Fanny (née Doppelt) and A.N. Pritzker. He has two brothers: Donald Pritzker and Jay Pritzker. Robert Pritzker received a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1946 and an honorary doctorate in 1984. He taught night courses at IIT and began serving on the Board of Trustees in 1962, and served as a University Regent until the time of his death. He also taught evening classes at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (now the Booth School of Business) in the late 1970s and through the 1980s. His class consisted of cases developed from actual business take-overs he was involved with, and students had to recommend whether or not to purchase the companies under study. Pritzker started The Marmon Group, an international association of autonomous manufacturing and service companies. Marmon's assets constitute half of the Pritzker family fortune. Robert's success can be partially attributed to his unique business structure, in which employees are trusted to make more key decisions, independent of the central office, than in other typical manufacturing settings. This independence allows for more creativity, and increases speed and productivity. Concurrently, Pritzker spent a year as Chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers.
In 2002, Robert Pritzker retired from his position of President of The Marmon Group and assumed the role of President of Colson Associates, Inc., a holding company of caster, plastics moldling, hardware and medical companies, including Acumed, OsteoMed, and Precision Edge Surgical Products Company, among others.
Pritzker has been married three times:
- His first wife was Audrey Gilbert, who he divorced in 1979. (In 1981, she married again to Albert B. Ratner, the co-chairman of Cleveland-based real estate developer Forest City Enterprises). Pritzker and Gilbert had three children:
- Jennifer N. Pritzker (b. James, 1950) – retired Lt Colonel in the U.S. Army and founder of the Pritzker Military Library. Jennifer has three children: daughter Tal Hava Pritzker and sons Andrew and William.
- Linda Pritzker (b. 1953) – psychotherapist
- Karen Pritzker Vlock (b. 1958) – married to investor Michael Vlock.
- In 1980, he married Irene Dryburgh. They had two children:
- Matthew Pritzker (b. 1982) – is a real-estate entrepreneur, the head of the Matthew Pritzker Company, and owns part of Chicago-based HomeMade Pizza Company and State Street Pictures.
- Liesel Pritzker Simmons (b. 1984) – a child actress who starred in A Little Princess and played the US President's daughter in film Air Force One. She co-founded with her mother, the IDP Foundation, dedicated to "developing innovative, scalable and replicable programs through sustainable initiatives that move away from aid based models and lead to greater progress in the achievement of Education for All for the most deprived."
- His third wife was Mayari Sargent, the daughter of the Austrian author, Inge Sargent (née Eberhard), and her first husband Sao Kya Seng, a member of Shan royalty in Burma.
Robert Pritzker preferred to fly coach despite having access to a family-owned corporate jet: "If I ask my managers to go coach how can I go first class? That's leadership."
- The Economist: "Jay Pritzker, pioneer of the modern hotel chain, died on January 23rd, aged 76" January 28, 1999
- Jay Pritzker, Who Built Chain Of Hyatt Hotels, Is Dead at 76 – New York Times
- Turitto, Vince T. (2007). "Who Is Robert Pritzker?". BMES Bulletin (Landover, MD: Biomedical Engineering Society) 31 (4): 9.
- CNN Money: "THE PRITZKERS UNVEILING A PRIVATE FAMILY Can you believe it? These billionaires actually like each other. But as Pritzkers proliferate, a worry arises: Can they maintain their striking success – and keep everyone happy?" By Ford S. Worthy April 25, 1988
- Yale University: "Slow readers, creative thinkers: gift will spur dyslexia studies – New center will explore links between reading problems, creativity" retrieved December 21, 2012
- Encyclopedia of Cleveland History: "Biography of the Ratner Family" retrieved December 21, 2012
- Geidner, Chris (August 23, 2013). "Billionaire Backer Of Open Transgender Military Service Comes Out As Transgender". BuzzFeed. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
- Pritzker Military Library website: "Colonel (IL) J. N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired)" retrieved December 21, 2012
- Berg Properties: "Housing Bulletin — Irene Pritzker Sells Her Kenilworth Mansion" By Dennis Rodkin March 19, 2008
- Opportunity International: "Irene D. Pritzker, and Attendees of World Leadership Forum Dinner, Reflect on her Global Philanthropy Award and the Work of IDP Rising Schools Program" September 28, 2010
- IDP Foundation website retrieved August 27, 2013
- Vanity Fair: "A Matter of Trusts: Shattered Dynasty" by Suzanna Andrews May 2003
- Chicago Tribune: "Out Of Burma" by Rick Kogan March 01, 1998
- Freedom Heroes: "FREEDOM HERO: INGE SARGENT" by Jennifer Beck retrieved December 21, 2012
- New York Times: "HOW THEY DEAL AND MULTIPLY" By Marylin Bender February 26, 1984